VANCOUVER, BC - Despite being eliminated from the MLS playoffs last week at the hands of the very same Colorado Rapids, the Whitecaps came out determined to claim the remaining three points on offer from the final game of the regular season.
On a night when the supporters presented the Cascadia Cup, bid adieu to a legend, and welcomed the next generation, the Faithful hoped that the Caps could rally one more time so they could end the season on a positive note.
The First Half
It was no secret that homegrown left back Sam Adekugbe would be making his professional debut this weekend in place of the suspended Jordan Harvey. In addition to the 18-year-old youngster, Brad Rusin slotted in for Carlyle Mitchell next to Jay DeMerit and Gershon Koffie and Russell Teibert were both making their first starts in several weeks.
Prior to the match, Young-Pyo Lee, who wore the captain's armband on the night, was given a hearty standing ovation by all those in attendance after they were treated to a video presentation of some of the South Korean's highlights from his long and distinguished career.
Striker Camilo Sanvezzo, who started the match two goals behind Chicago's Mike Magee for the MLS Golden Boot award, had two early chances to get on the score sheet and looked to be a threat to score all evening.
In the twenty-seventh minute of the match Colorado's Gabriel Torres, whose winning goal last week in Denver ended Vancouver's season, tried to side step Jay DeMerit just inside the eighteen-yard box. Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted saw Torres' low shot go off the end of his outstretched hand and Brad Rusin was there to prevent Edson Buddle from poking the ball into the net. Ousted gathered the ball and so ended Colorado's best chance to get on the score sheet for the entire match.
Vancouver's breakthrough finally came in the forty-second minute when rookie sensation Kekuta Manneh worked his way into the box and was tripped up by Marvel Wynne. Referee Ricardo Salazar awarded the Whitecaps the penalty and Camilo thundered a hard shot past Clint Irwin to put the Caps in front.
The Second Half
The Rapids attempted to press forward in the opening minutes of the second half, but their attempts were dealt with by the Whitecaps' sturdy defense. In fact, the Rapids were held to only two shots on target for the entire match.
Camilo had several more chances in the opening phase of the second half to increase the Whitecaps lead and he was finally rewarded in the seventy-fifth minute when he ran onto a pass from Matt Watson, turned Colorado defender Drew Moor inside out, and then poked the ball coolly underneath Irwin. Camilo had now won the MLS Golden Boot award having snatched it out of Magee's hands by virtue of having more assists this season. But Camilo was not done for the evening.
In the eighty-third minute Y.P. Lee thumped the ball down field and it bounced over the head of the Colorado defenders and landed at the feet of Matt Watson, who had managed to sneak in behind the back line undetected. Watson could have tried to tap the ball over Irwin, but instead unselfishly laid it back to Camilo, who saw his shot cleared off the line by Moor.
In the eighty-fifth minute Russell Teibert played the ball forward from midfield and Camilo pounded his third of the night past Irwin and put the Caps up by a score of 3-0. Having scored his first hat trick as a Whitecap, Camilo also made a statement by winning the Golden Boot outright instead of by the tie breaker rule.
In ninetieth minute manager Martin Rennie made a classy move by substituting Eric Hurtado on for Y.P. Lee so the veteran could be treated to a standing ovation by the boisterous home fans. After an additional three minutes of stoppage time referee Ricardo Salazar blew the whistle for full-time and so ended the game, Y.P. Lee's playing career, and the Whitecaps 2013 season.
And what a season it was.
The Final Word
- Camilo's twenty two goals is the most scored by a Whitecap in the MLS-era, and is three goals back of the all-time record of twenty five goals scored by Dominic Mobilio
- This is the second time that Camilo was the club's leading scorer (2011, '13). Darren Mattocks was the Caps' top scorer in 2012.
- Russell Teibert finished the season with nine assists. Davide Chuimiento also had nine assists in 2011.
- Tonight's 3-0 victory marks David Ousted's fourth clean sheet of the season in net for the Caps.
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